Shortly, an aerial scuffle ensued and two spiralled up and tumbled down, entwined with invisible gossamer and into the bracken, heaving with Ringlets today. Herself took to the wing almost immediately and was off but the male sat long enough for a closer approach, forewing tightly tucked down, eyeless, before returning to the air again
Activity was continuous for a further 5 minutes with low swoops around a bramble tangle instigated by some plucky Comma's willing to harry the passing Emperors on their loop, in turn perking their interest to return. Then one male took to the vigil, the other looped us at eye level before banking sharply up and into the Oak canopy above and behind us. There were several Purple Hairstreaks flying between trees and on the Hazel allowing reasonable views through binoculars.
A little wander further up the path revealed a couple more canopy areas occupied by Emperors and I think there were at least 6 individuals. A great hour out, I'm so happy to have an accessible and productive purple wood near to home, a true luxury.